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Myspace accused of using thousands of tracks without permission

Labels group says 100 independents affected

The new Myspace has been accused of using thousands of songs by artists signed to independent labels without permission.

A refreshed version of the social network was rolled out to the public late last year with the site boasting of having the biggest digital library available online at around 50 million songs. Justin Timberlake, a minor investor in the company, relaunched his music career through the site when he uploaded new track ‘Suit & Tie’ to his artist page last week.

However, Merlin, a group representing thousands of small labels, has claimed that up to 100 labels they look after have songs in the library that should not be there after their deal with Myspace expired in 2011.

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Charles Caldas, chief executive of Merlin, revealed in an interview with the New York Times that Myspace are using thousands of songs without permission, including tracks from artists signed to Beggars Group, Domino and Merge, three of the biggest independent labels Merlin represent.

“While it’s nice that Mr Timberlake is launching his service on this platform, and acting as an advocate for the platform, on the other hand his peers as artists are being exploited without permission and not getting remuneration for it,” said Caldas.

In response, Neda Azarfar, a spokesperson for Myspace, said the company had decided not to renew its contract with Merlin and that any remaining songs on the site were likely to have been uploaded by users and would be removed upon request.

Check out NME’s take on the new Myspace.

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